Ahem, well yes, I am still alive, thanks! Although you couldn't tell by checking in here!
Back a couple of months ago, I was taken by small shawl fever. There are so many great patterns for them right now, and really, all you need is a skein of sock yarn to get started! So, I just jumped right in! If you are looking for pattern ideas, and have a ravelry account, check out the Small Shawl KACAL thread in the Sundara Yarn Love group for even more ideas. There are probably similar threads in other groups. Be forewarned though, besides lots of drooling over gorgeous knits, your queue will be creaking with all the new additions!
About the same time the fever struck, I got my hands on my first ball of Zauberball. This stuff is lovely, and right in small shawl yardage range! Just look at this!
Schoppell-Wolle Zauberball, color #1993, Creme of Chocolate
(stop drooling on my yarn!!!)
I used it to make this lovely scarf:
Pattern: Herbivore, by Steven West
Needles: US 6
Yarn: about 1/2 skein Zauberball
I made this scarf size, so used only 1/2 ball or so. I am tempted to undo the bind-off, and use the rest of the ball to make it larger, as it is such a lovely pattern, with entertaining twists. I loved working with this yarn! I have two more balls, one in Fresh Fish, which is rainbow colored. I will probably make colorful socks with it. The other is in one of the Crazy colorways, Flussbett, which is translated as Riverbed. I want to make a Wisp with it, like this lovely example. (rav link)
Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda
Needles: US 6
Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in Goldenrod Crab Spider
This was one very special skein of yarn! Bugga! is difficult to get, and this particular color is not terribly easy to get either. It is a lovely chartreuse with golden brown hints here & there. I have been saving it for a special project, and Ishbel is a great one. Very enjoyable to knit, and there are many ways you can modify the number of pattern sequences to get the end result you want. I was going for the small stockinette, large lace combo that several people have made with similar yardage. As it turned out, I was a few rows short of being able to finish the full sequence. Although my shawl does not have the usual points on it, I think it still looks good. The alternative would be to frog much of the last sequence and have a rather large bit of leftover yarn. I don't think I will go back and do this.
Pattern: Ulmus by Kirsten Kapur
Needles: US 5
Yarn: Sundara sock in Brambleberry, 1 skein
Shibui sock in Wasabi, 2 skeins
The Sundara sock in Brambleberry is another special yarn that was waiting for a special project. It has a range of browns, with hints of purple, and splashes of an appley green very similar to the Shibui sock in Wasabi. I received it as part of my Autumn Seasons subscription for Sundara yarn (which is no longer being offered). After browsing the many lovely color combos of Ulmus shawls on ravelry, I decided this would be a great combo. It is a shame, but I don't think the picture really does justice to just what a lovely color combination it is. There is more vibrancy to it, in real life. It was such a pleasant knit, that before I had even finished it, I got yarn for another Ulmus. By the number of second and third Ulmus projects on ravelry, I would say that this experience has happened to many people!!!
Most recently off the needles:
Pattern: Milkweed by Laura Chau
Needles: US 4
Yarn: Sundara sock in "End of Day"
I was inspired by a lovely shawl which I saw in the Small Shawl thread mentioned above. Sundara yarns, like SG Bugga! (Ishbel above), are not easy yarns to get. But, you can often get the Sundara yarns from someone on ravelry who may be selling skeins in colors they like less in order to get ones they like more. That is how I picked up this skein of End of Day. Wow, just watching the colors change as you knit is a treat! I especially loved watching the deep dark colors in this skein go by. I listened to an audio book while making this, Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, so I think of that book every time I pick this up. I highly recommend the book, as well as the pattern!
The pattern is an easy, pleasant knit, but don't zone out! I lost track of the number of repeats of one of the charts, and had to frog back about 10 rows or so to make it right. It was a good thing I did, because I finished with only about 2 grams of yarn left!
So, has the fever passed? Not really! I have another Ulmus on my list, and this lovely shawl from knitty. But, at some point I do want to break away and make a few yummy warm sweaters. TTFN!